Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is Winston-Salem ready for a streetcar (again)?

Image source: Infrastructurist & lastreetcar.org
Discussion of a fixed-rail streetcar that would run through downtown Winston-Salem began last night according to this Fox News article. It would cost $60 million - the flip side, it could add hundreds of millions to the county's tax base.   


Streetcars are usually built into the road and are electric. This one would likely run from Winston-Salem State University to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Hospital.


Cities in America, like Seattle, Washington D.C. and Charlotte have rediscovered the streetcar (read more). Are we ready to bring it back?

Friday, March 23, 2012

What makes a house a home?

Home. It's where the little things become the most important, and those moments become magical.

At Coldwell Banker, we are focusing on what truly makes a house a home.  Michael Fischer, our Chief Marketing Officer, shares what home means to him in The Value of a Home.  In it he also lets us know what's upcoming to see (and hear...Tom Selleck!) from Coldwell Banker. There couldn't be a better time than now for us to really consider what makes a 'house,' home.

At the end of the day, home is what matters most to us - it is the journey we take and the memories we create that makes our lives what they are. Sometimes it is easiest to 'get home' when we daydream back to those memories...or daydream about the day they will come. This video, 'The Value of a Home,' epitomizes what we want to get home to - those special moments that we all work hard for.





So,  here's to all the things that make a house a home (thanks Coldwell Banker!).

For me, it's all about being with family...and being outside - in the garden with dirt beneath my feet, kicking the soccer ball with the kiddos, the smell of grilled cheesburgers waiting to be eaten, and an occasional 4-wheeler ride near the pond (maybe later I will post the video :0).

Pause a few seconds to take a look and comment - if this was your home video, what magical moments would you share from behind your Blue Door?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tech Tips- Gmail as alias...with Aaron Wood

Guest Blogger Aaron Wood

Configuring GMAIL to send email as an alias

Aaron Wood with Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors
Sending mail from a different address

Gmail lets you send messages with another of your email addresses listed as the sender instead of your Gmail address. This feature helps you manage multiple accounts from the Gmail interface; it works only if you already own the email account linked to the alternate address. To send mail from a different Gmail username, you'll first need to sign up for that address. Select an option below for instructions on how to add your other addresses to your Gmail account.

I'm a Gmail or Google Apps user sending from an external address.

1.        Sign in to Gmail.
2.        Click the gear icon  in the upper-right, select Settings and select the Accounts and   Import tab (or Accounts tab, if you're using Google Apps).
3.        Under Send mail as, click Add another email address.
4.        In the 'Email address' field, enter your name and alternate email address.
Leave the check box in Treat as an alias.
5.        Choose one of two options:

o        Use Gmail's servers to send your mail (this is easier to set up)  (use this option)

6. Click Next Step >> and then click Send Verification. Gmail will send a verification message to your other email address to confirm that you own it.
7. Open your other account and either click the link in the message Gmail sent or enter theconfirmation code in the Accounts section of your Gmail settings.
If Gmail sends a verification email and you didn't receive the it, the message was probably caught by a spam or bulk mail filter in your recovery email system. Try checking your Spam or Bulk Mail folders for a message from account-verification-noreply@google.com to see if the email ended up in there.

8. Now change this to your default Send mail as:

That’s it now every email you send out will be from this address.

For more information from Google click here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

30 Mobile Must Haves...with Chris Smith

What's Behind the Blue Door of Real Estate?

Just a few weeks ago, Coldwell Banker hosted Generation Blue, our international business conference, in New Orleans. We were elated to have Chris Smith with Inman News speak and share his '30 Mobile Must Haves for the Tech Savvy Agent.'

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the list that came from one of our Coldwell Banker Triad attendees.  It is so valuable that I had to share it with you, especially those who didn't have the opportunity to attend the conference.

1. Google maps
2. Hootsuite - Social Media
3. EverNote
4. Dropbox - File Storage
5. Openhome pro. - Send email to Andrew
6. Realtor.com - 55 m visitors/30 day period
7. QR codes - toor.me, goo.gl, Vyoo.it, ClickBrix
8. Slydial
9. Mobile ads. IAd -pay per click advertising- sponsor a search phrase
10. Upstream/Qik (Blackberry)- live walk through of the technology
11. YouTube. Reel director. IMovie
12. 73% sellers are more likely to list with an Agent that does video
13. Blogging - posterous, wordpress.org
14. Google analytics
15. Dragon dictation
16. 360 panorama/Wow/RobotView
17. CRM- Top Producer
18. Iteleporter - Your CPU anywhere
19. Scvngr - Why check in? FourSquare
20. DocuSign - better consumer experience
21. Mobile card cast. 17% bus off mobs devices
22. Instagram
23. Glympse - driving kids leverage w/social media
24. Skype - video calls
25. Flipboard - pulls data from social, puts it in a normal news format
26. CB iPad app
27.

Well, they stopped at #26 - guess they felt they had enough to get started! How many 'must haves' are in your toolbox?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Positive Signs for Real Estate Locally & Nationally

1928 Glenkirk Drive (under contract), listed by Robin Allred
with Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors. Photo by Bloomberg
News published by The Wall Street Journal.
What's Behind The Blue Door?

Ironically, both local and national home sales rose by 4.3 %* and national inventory shrunk to a healthy level according to the National Association of Realtors in this Wall Street Journal article.

This Winston-Salem Journal article states sales are up in Winston-Salem, NC as well as at Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors, which serves 16 counties surrounding the Triad.

So what do these two articles tell us?

Jodi Tate, our company's chief operating officer, stated sales were up substantially last year from 2010. "The numbers are definitely moving in the right direction."

When we asked our agents what they’ve seen this past week, we heard offers were submitted on their listings, a stubborn foreclosure closed as a result of perseverance and communication, and open house traffic is fantastic -even during bad weather.

Ultimately, whether you are a buyer or seller, the market seems to be turning in your favor. Sales are up and inventory is shrinking. Do you feel like we have hit the bottom and we’re on our way to recovery?

(*Winston-Salem Journal article reflects a 4.3% increase in home sales for 2011 for the Winston-Salem area, encompassing Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties. Wall Street Journal article reflects a 4.3% increase in existing-home sales in January 2012 from the previous month)